Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2014

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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IRISH IN THE PROS BY ANDREW OWENS R ob Kurz, Chris Thomas and other memorable names from the Notre Dame basketball teams of the 2000s are reuniting this summer at a newly formed basketball tournament that features a chance to win $500,000. The Basketball Tournament — a 32- team, five-on-five, single-elimination event that will be held June 6-8 in Philadelphia — will include the Notre Dame Fighting alumni, the 2009 Vil- lanova Final Four team and the 2010 Cornell Sweet Sixteen team, as well as alumni from Wisconsin, LSU, Siena and Maryland. The Irish team will consist of Kurz (2004-08), Thomas (2001-05), Colin Falls (2003-07), Ryan Ayers (2005-09), Russell Carter (2003-07), walk-on Ki- eran Piller (2005-07), Torin Francis (2002-06), Zach Hillesland (2005-09), Tory Jackson (2006-10) and Tyrone Nash (2007-11), with Jordan Cornette (2001-05) serving as the coach. "I'm not really on any social media or anything like that, so I found out through Kieran Piller," Kurz said. "I get a text from him and he sent me the link to the article and told me to check it out. They have a tournament in Philly for 500 grand and it just so happens where they're holding the tournament is right across the street from my high school. I live like 10 minutes away from there. I was like, 'This just doesn't sound right. Where are they getting the money?' It just sounded too good to be true to me. "We talked about it and said we should get a team with the Notre Dame guys if it turns out to be real. That's how it all started." With the players all in different parts of the world these days — for example, Jackson is an assistant coach at Northwood University in Michi- gan and Francis is finishing a season abroad in Turkey — it isn't the easiest Notre Dame Hoops Alumni To Reunite At New Tournament Forward Rob Kurz (2004‑08), who spent one sea‑ son with the Golden State Warriors of the NBA before playing in Europe, helped organize a group of former Notre Dame players that will com‑ pete in The Basketball Tournament, June 6‑8, in Philadelphia. PHOTO COURTESY ROB KURZ

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